Thalassemia (skull manifestation)

Case contributed by Dr Hidayatullah Hamidi


Known case of thalassaemia major. CT for work up of developmental delay.

Patient Data

Age: 3 years
Gender: Male

Diffuse widening of the diploic space of the calvarial bones (except the occipital bone) with typical hair on end appearance, more prominent in the frontal bones.

Thickening of facial bones is also noted.

No pneumatization of the frontal, maxillary, and sphenoid sinuses. Normal pneumatization of the ethmoid air cells.

No gross abnormality in the brain parenchyma.

Case Discussion

The skull manifestations of thalassemia include:

  • widening of the diploic space
  • thinning of the inner & outer table
  • prominent secondary trabeculae (hair on end appearance)
  • the occipital bone is spared (lack of haemopoietic bone marrow)

Facial bones:

  • hypopneumatisation of the frontal, maxillary & sphenoid sinuses (filled with marrow containing bone)
  • ethmoid sinuses are spared as they contain no red bone marrow
  • dental malocclusion
PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 56548
Published: 8th Nov 2017
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.